Peyton Manning will announce his retirement after 18 seasons in the NFL on Monday.
While the Denver Broncos quarterback hasn’t officially confirmed the news, on Sunday his team posted a tribute on Twitter marking a “magnificent 18-year NFL career”, while media insider Ian Rapoport revealed the 39-year-old will hold a press conference on Monday.
It means Manning, who was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts, will go out a champion after February’s victory over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50.
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He will go down among the pantheon of greats. The former number one overall pick holds the record for career passing touchdowns (539), most passing yards (71,940), single season touchdown record (55) and most wins including playoff victories (200).
Few would argue that this is the perfect time for Manning to hang up his cleats. The quarterback wasn’t the reason the Broncos overcame Carolina at Santa Clara but his presence on the field was impossible to understate.
According to Rapoport, the franchise’s general manager John Elway, who also retired after winning his second Super Bowl ring, will honour Manning’s career at the press conference.
The former Colt reportedly struggled with the idea of stepping away from the game but he risked being unceremoniously shunted out of Denver if he wanted to continue playing.
The club have offered Brock Osweiler a three-year deal worth more than $45 million, per Mike Klis of 9News, and the 6 ft 8 in quarterback is seen as the future at Mile High.
Manning should be elated, though. There’s no better way to end a career than by winning the Vince Lombardi trophy.